Repairing the Disconnect / How To Connect with Teens

If there’s a breach in your relationship with your teen, “your kid is not going to take the initiative to re-connect,” says family therapist Neil Brown. “The total responsibility for that is on you.”

So what can you do when something happens to put stress on your relationship with your teen. Take the first step to repair the relationship.

  • Apologize for your role in the conflict or miscommunication.
  • Don’t bring up past wrongs.
  • Encourage better communication and mutual respect.
  • Push reset and start fresh.

“When you’re not in the middle of a conflict, let them know: ‘I know that things haven’t gone perfectly between us, but I am available to you anytime to talk about anything that you need to talk about,’” says Duffy.

So What Else Can Parents Do To Connect With Teens?

Listen. Let them talk and blow off steam without trying to solve their problems.

Empathize. Don’t judge but instead acknowledge their feelings. “It sounds like that was hurtful.”

Show concern first. “Before we talk about what happened and needs to happen now, we need to know how you are feeling. Are you okay?”

Follow their interests. Take them to a sports or music event, go shopping or hiking, check out a book or TV show they recommend.

Drive them. The car is a great place to talk, listen, and eavesdrop.

Create space. Set aside your basement, garage, or TV room so your teen and their friends will hang out at your house.

Engage as a family. Organize a weekly game night, a walk, or a family dinner. You could also volunteer together or take in a show or exhibit that might appeal to them.

Don’t yell. When parents lose control, teens don’t feel supported and safe.

Don’t be reactive, even if they’re rude. Say, “Ouch! Something I said must have gotten on your nerves. Let’s talk later.”

The post Repairing the Disconnect / How To Connect with Teens appeared first on Your Teen Magazine.


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